Pete Tyjas reports that great fun was had with the brown trout of the Taw at The Fox & Hounds, Eggesford on this rather foggy opening day. There were 37 fish caught and this figure included a couple of 10″, a 13″ and a whopping 19″ fish, all fit, in good condition and all safely returned. The latter is a real corker, and later in the season could possibly be a 3lb plus beauty. The day saw a temperature of around 9 degrees Celsius (42F) and good hatches of midges and Large Dark Olives plus the odd March Brown for good measure. A few fish were caught on the dry fly but it was nymphs that scored more heavily.
The 15th March sees the majority of rivers in Devon and Cornwall open for trout fishing. There will be similar reports to the above from the Torridge and the Exe systems and The Otter and Axe in the east of the region will have featured more success for the dry fly as they are much lower lying and can have quite heavy hatches of the naturals from the word go.
Although open for business, some of the loveliest and most remote stretches of our West Country streams will not really start producing the goods until the temperature rises just a little bit more. Areas of Dartmoor especially can be several degrees cooler than further down river and it is usually April before we venture out for a serious try up there. Until then the lower lying waters of the Teign, Torridge, Taw and Exe and their tributaries will occupy our time along with the aforementioned waters in the east.
A number of rivers in Somerset and Dorset don’t open until April 1st, and the Camel, Fowey and Fal systems in Cornwall join the fray on this date too but all in all, it has to be said, March 15th is, to most of us fly fishing folk down here in the West, one of the most important dates in the calendar.
The game is well and truly afoot. Fantastic!
NOTE: The majority of SWLT lakes opened today too – so the 15th was a real double whammy this year!…………………………..(What exactly is a whammy?…………………….)